We’re gearing up for college football’s bowl season and the Super Bowl is around the corner. Whether or not you’re a football fan, it’s hard this time of year to ignore how the sport has taken over our lexicon.
For instance, you don’t have to be a fan of the gridiron to know what it means when a decision’s “a coin toss,” why it’s important to “make a push to the goal line,” and when it’s appropriate to “call an audible.” When someone suggests your clinic’s physical therapy team “huddle up” for a quick meeting, no one likely stands back waiting for further explanation. And if success ever comes down to a “Hail Mary,” you know the odds likely aren’t in your favor.
It’s incredible when you consider how far and wide the tentacles of sports culture reach into our professional lives. But it makes sense. Whether you’re talking success on the football field or success in the field of private practice physical therapy, so much comes down to strategy — both preparing a strategy and communicating it to those around you. And from there, a common lingo forms.
Well, we are in the business of physical therapy marketing. We’re also big football fans. So, we thought it’d be fun so close to the start of 2022 to lay out our top five content marketing resolutions for private practice PTs … while playing loose with a few of the parallels between marketing and the football.
As you consider your PT clinic’s 2022 content marketing moves while enjoying the upcoming bowl games, keep the following in mind.
Script Your First Drive
While top football coaches have reached almost mythical status for their genius in coaching through grit, gut, and determination, real fans know it’s all about scouting, preparation, and strategy. The same is true when it comes to marketing your physical therapy clinic.
The great football coaches don’t call games on a whim. That’s a recipe for disaster. They go into each game with a script of plays that guide them through the play calling process throughout the game, beginning with their first drive. These plays are developed after carefully evaluating each team’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats — a good ole’ fashioned SWOT analysis.
As you consider physical therapy marketing for 2022, do your own SWOT analysis. From there, you can develop a more powerful content marketing strategy that can guide your content toward strengths and opportunities, while at the same time improving weaknesses and avoiding threats.
Stick With Your Ground Game
The modern football offense is often considered a pass-happy, high-flying approach with a go-for-broke plan of attack. Such flair is considered good for ratings and more digestible for those not as familiar with the game. But it’s flawed.
While such an approach might be successful once in a while, long-term success requires a true commitment to the ground game — one that’s meant to wear down an opponent, increasing the chances the ball carrier (or your message) will break through the defense for incrementally greater gains. From here, the parallels are clear.
Content marketing also requires a consistent, grind-it-out approach. By continually pushing content through a variety of channels, you’re accomplishing a lot, even if it’s not so apparent right away. Content marketing allows you to create brand awareness while educating your community about physical therapy and the many ways PT can positively impact lives, all the while establishing greater credibility for yourself.
By developing and sticking with your ground game, you’re slowly converting health care consumers into PT consumers. You’re growing your base of prospects, and we all know the most educated, empowered health care consumers are more likely to #GetPT1st!
Go Long … When It’s Open
Once you’ve established your ground game, that is, when you’ve established consistent ways to educate your community through a content marketing strategy, you’re now in a better position to capitalize on greater opportunities when they present themselves.
It’s a football adage, isn’t it, that a consistent ground game opens up the deep pass? Direct mail, online advertising, any segmented marketing — all these strategies are good, but they can fall flat without first having built a consistent content marketing presence.
After all, without previous brand presence, established credibility, a great website/blog to point to, and a baseline idea of what physical therapy is all about, higher-end marketing strategies pack a much weaker punch.
Become a Superfan
We’ve all watched ballgames with so-called “superfans.” These fans let themselves get emotionally absorbed into a game and believe in their teams through thick and thin. A game you may once have cared less about suddenly seems to have a purpose. Superfans provide energy, narrative and context to the game, giving you reasons to sit on the edge of your seat even during the most mundane fourth-and-longs. Such enthusiasm is contagious, after all.
In 2022, resolve to become not just an advocate or an educator of physical therapy, but a superfan of the profession and all it can do to improve lives, communities … the world!
Let it show through on your blog, in your posts of Facebook, in the information you share via email newsletters. Brag about success, spotlight your team, create positive narratives, and show enthusiasm. Pull people into your world as a movement specialist and make them a fan of physical therapy.
Watch the Commercials
We all know that person who claims to only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. Heck, maybe you are that person. No judgement here! In fact, you may be onto something. Part of being an effective content marketer is being a steadfast media consumer.
It’s important to know your local media, to get to know the various forms of media in your town, what types of content they typically produce, and who’s most likely to cover stories related to health, fitness, sports, and physical therapy.
Get to know the names of local health writers, editors, producers, and personalities, and regularly feed them story ideas and content that not only may benefit their coverage, but also benefit you by establishing a strong level of credibility within your community.
Call In Players From the Bench
Sometimes the team’s star players just don’t cut it anymore, which means coaches must look at their bench and see who has the most potential to shine. The same strategy applies to your content marketing tactics.
As customers become accustomed to your content marketing methods, often new approaches are needed to break their defenses and get their attention. You may already have some ideas that are on the bench just itching to get some play time. Consider a full content marketing audit to see what’s the next worthy tactic to try out on the field.
“There’s Always Next Year”
The above phrase often gets touted when a football team doesn’t do well one particular year (or every year if you’re a Jets fan).
If you’ve said the same for your content marketing in 2021, know that with the new year comes new opportunity to improve your game. Seize the moment so you aren’t repeating the phrase a year from now going into 2023.
And if you feel it’s time to shake up leadership and hire a new coach, reach out to learn more about Net Health’s digital and content marketing solutions today.